AMD's Catalyst A.I. Is Good For Few Linux Games
Written by Michael Larabel in AMD on 20 December 2012 at 11:09 PM EST. 10 Comments
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Catalyst A.I. is a feature built into AMD's proprietary Radeon graphics driver meant to enhance the OpenGL performance for certain games, but under Linux it's not incredibly useful.

Catalyst A.I. is meant to further enhance the GPU's performance, particularly for gaming. This feature has long been supported under both the Windows and Linux drivers. Back in February I found Catalyst A.I. to be rather useless on Linux.

This weekend I ran some new Ubuntu Linux benchmarks from the latest Catalyst 12.11 Beta. For a few games there's some performance improvements when toggling the Catalyst A.I. support and trying out the standard and advanced A.I. modes. However, most native Linux games that were tested don't see any benefit out of this AMD-specific driver feature.

Doom 3 was one of the few titles benefiting from Catalyst A.I., but only the advanced mode didn't have any greater performance benefits over the standard A.I.

Nexuiz saw a small performance pop when using the advanced Catalyst A.I. from the latest Catalyst Linux driver on the Radeon HD 6950 Cayman graphics card.

Unfortunately most Linux OpenGL results were like the graph above where there was no performance difference, even for some of the other id Tech 3/4 games, Unigine Engine, Qfusion, etc.

All of the system details along with more of these Catalyst A.I. Linux benchmarks are available from OpenBenchmarking.org.
About The Author
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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